Following a long off-season, the Phoenix Tools Honda squad fired their season into life at the first Maxxis British Championship round on Sunday. Gert Krestinov and Carlton Husband faced difficult conditions all day, as torrential rain battered the circuit in the hours prior to the event.
The Phoenix Tools Honda duo got off to a great start in the premier class, however, as both Krestinov and Husband posted lap times that put them inside of the top ten in qualifying. Krestinov was eighth in the session, thanks to a time that was just three tenths quicker than his teammate. Husband qualified tenth in his MX1 debut.
That speed did not quite translate to a good start for either rider in the first moto, as Krestinov found himself buried outside of the top twenty. Carlton Husband, on the other hand, was on the ground and left with a lot of work to do. Krestinov was already on the cusp of the top twenty after just one lap and worked his way all the way up to eleventh by the chequered flag, despite the fact that the circuit was deteriorating rapidly. Husband withdrew from the moto at the halfway point, as the deficit that he faced following that mistake on lap one was too large to overcome.
Moto two was similar for Krestinov, as he exited turn one outside of the top twenty and faced another difficult task. ‘37’ made more moves on lap one this time around, however, and then managed to crack the top ten before the end of the moto. An eighth gave him ninth overall on the day. Husband managed to put himself in a much better position out of the gate, but his vision was compromised immediately. He was not to be deterred, however, and fought all moto to secure a fourteenth and six valuable points.
The Phoenix Tools Honda squad now look forward to the first round of the Michelin MX Nationals, which will take place on the first weekend in April.
Gert Krestinov: “It was a tough day at Culham for the first race of the British Championship. I did not get the starts that I needed, so I had to come from twenty-fifth place in both races. I ended up eleventh and eighth for ninth overall. The weekend did not play out for me, but it is onto the MX Nationals at Preston Docks.”
Carlton Husband: “The day was not too great for me. Qualifying went well with a tenth, so I was feeling quite confident. In the first race I had a crash on the start and that made it really hard to come through the pack, as it was so muddy and hard to pass. I got a good start in the second race, but had to take my goggles off in the second corner. I did not pull in to change goggles, because I was still in the points, and it just made the whole race hard. I could not see well at all. I ended up fourteenth, so I was just happy to get some points. I know I have got the speed to run top ten, so will work hard in the next few weeks to make it happen.”
Words: Press Release | Lead Image: Tony Hartman